How the Media Prevents Meaningful Discussion About the Condition of Our Environment

100519-N-6141B-001Alex Pietrowski, Staff
Waking Times

For a normal human being who understands the value of having clean air and water to consume, clean soil to grow food in, and of living in a habitat that can support life, it is frustrating to watch one environmental calamity occur, after another without ever seeing a mainstream, non-politicized conversation about the condition of our natural world. It seems that merely expressing concern over the direction the environment is going is enough to solicit a number of stigmatized labels, such as hippie, liberal, terrorist, downer, debbie-downer, slacker, tree-hugger, climate changer, Al Gore, global warmer, Agenda 21’er, and so on. There is an extreme cultural bias against environmentalism, from many angles. Environmentalism is not a public priority.

What is at the root of this indifference toward the quality of our natural world? We certainly are a society that is highly preoccupied with security, but, for some reason, when it comes to securing a healthy environment, most of us look the other way, or put these concerns well below others.


The public conversation on any popular issue in America today is led by a handful of media companies who provide ‘news’ and ‘debate’ on the selected topics of each day. In this way, a narrow and focused message is syndicated across America, and we hear the same news and information repeated, often verbatim, by local, state, and national media. The model of a consolidated media, working for profit, bringing us an endless narrative, is very effective at setting societal priorities, at supporting hidden agendas, and at coloring the truth on any issue.

Lying by omission is one of the most effective ways of hiding the truth. By simply not mentioning an issue, then, effectively, a lie is told that the issue is irrelevant. The total picture of the truth is manipulated in this way by our mainline media, making it unlikely for consumers of media to connect the dots amongst environmental issues, linking their long term fall out to developments in policy and disaster clean up.

By effectively omitting critical issues from the ongoing public conversation, this most important subject is rendered unimportant, or the illusion is created that the environment is under responsible stewardship by the proper authorities. The media plays a significant role in shaping how this nation reacts to environmental catastrophes, and time and again the tactic of lying by omission is used against us to obfuscate the truth about what is happening to our natural world.


Over the course of the last century our society has been heavily influenced to value a consumer oriented way of life over traditional ways of living. Our economy is driven by consumption, and the mainline media reinforces our dependence on and desire for this lifestyle by continuously reiterating the enjoyment and value to be had in acquiring more things. If the public were to lose interest in this lifestyle, this economy would collapse entirely.

As the primary sales agent of our consumeristic cultural paradigm, the media absolutely must refrain from demonstrating how our consumer based lifestyle lays waste to the earth, jeopardizing health and wellness for all. Our mainline media must do their best to camouflage this crisis in order to keep itself alive, in order to keep it’s coiffeurs filled, and in order to keep all those involved employed. A catch-22 of Biblical proportions.

For this, the prevailing manner of reporting on the environment issues has become to ignore all stories about the environment except the ones too big not to mention, then to brush those off the radar with haste. Once an environmental story is gone from the front page it is rarely ever mentioned again, even though the effects of environmental catastrophes are felt much later than the actual event.


The point of omitting environmental issues from the discussion is to inhibit people from connecting the dots on how the pattern of serious environmental destruction is directly related to the way of life being touted by the media. If people connect the dots, they may see how participation in the economy and this way of life is participation in ecocide, and thus, suicide. Upon realizing this, they may go further to make the connection that life is more important than the quest for wealth and materialism, and change their personal behavior to support the things which support life, rather than supporting the things which extract, pollute, and rape this wonderful earth.

If too many people change their behavior, then this economic system will collapse.

At present there are a number of extremely critical environmental issues that are going largely unaddressed by our policy makers and so-called leaders. As a service to the conversation about the quality of our world and the quality of our health, here is a list of the top 20 environmental issues routinely omitted by the mainstream media.

  1. Fukushima
  2. The Gulf of Mexico Core Exit Oil Spill
  3. Tar Sands Athabasca
  4. Appalachian Mountain Top Removal
  5. Depleted Uranium
  6. Nuclear Energy and Spent Nuclear Fuel
  7. Pipeline Spills
  8. Fracking
  9. Air Pollution
  10. Genetic Modification of Plants and Animals
  11. Soil Depletion and Erosion From Mass Agriculture
  12. Electro-Magenetic Pollution
  13. Widespread Pollution of the Oceans
  14. Sea-life Die Off and the Collapse of Ocean Fish Colonies
  15. Rainforest Destruction for Industrial Agriculture and Oil Exploration
  16. Water Pollution
  17. Widespread Overuse of Pesticides and Herbicides
  18. Trash and Landfills
  19. Animal Poaching and Species Extinction
  20. Geo-Engineering and Chemtrails
  21. Overpopulation
  22. Please Add Anything Not On This List to the Comments Section Below

Perhaps seeing all this in one place will help support the overall picture of where our lives are going if we continue to sideline and ridicule any meaningful public discussion about how our lifestyles support the destruction of the natural world. Without pigeon holing concerned people into labels like, commie, collectivist, dirt worshipper, liberal, eco-terrorist, or whatever. against our long term interests of having a planet that can sustain and and is worth living on.


Connecting the dots on these issues raises the question of how these issues are inter-connected. The continuous thread that runs through each of these calamities is an industrial hubris that seeks, first and foremost, ever-increasing profit. This is supported by governments, both corrupt and manipulated by economic hitmen. Behind this lies the arrogant human assumption that human beings are somehow separate from the earth and it’s creatures, and somehow in control of the natural forces of the world.

Whether you want to call it global warming, climate change, industrial accidents, unfortunate events, mismanagement, or what have you, the fact remains that our natural world is becoming increasingly toxic and the future for our children looks rather dim without a mass awakening and acceptance of this issue as a top social priority. As the natural world continues to degrade, it will eventually become impossible for the media and industry to hide the extent of the damage that is being done, no matter what illusions we are spoonfed.

Simple, common-sense environmentalism shouldn’t be reserved for political hacks like Al Gore or globalist supporters of Agenda 21. You shouldn’t have to be a carbon credit trader to be concerned about the radiation leak at Fukushima, and you don’t have to be a Rothschild to understand that oil in the backyard isn’t good for the family dog.

As individuals it is up to each of us to re-think our dependance on consumer culture and reinvent how we relate to the natural world. For inspiration on this, please view this thought-provoking talk by Sebastião Salgado.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for and an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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  • Aude Sapere

    Excellent article that tells the truth and connects all the dots.

    However I can’t help proofreading “to keep it’s coiffeurs filled”: “it’s” means “it is”, not the possessive of “it”, and “coiffeur” is a male hairdresser. I think you meant “coffer” – “a strongbox or small chest for holding valuables”.

  • I cannot express how moved and inspired I feel reading your words here, and seeing the video of your talk and powerful works. I just want to please add what I feel is also part of an insane device to keep generations of people distanced from nature and their own nature. I would like to quote from The Spell of the Sensuous, by David Abram where he is showing how there is a phony ‘choice’ offered to the public’s psyche between scientific determinism or New Age philosophy, yet both sides of the ‘coin’ make SURE that experience of a real alive natural world is negated. I feel that oncee this is made aware of we will undermine the evil spell that’s been cast over many of us:

    …[C]onventional scientific discourse privileges the sensible field in abstraction from sensory experience, and commonly maintains that subjective experience is “caused” by an objectifiable set of processes in the mechanically determined field of the sensible. Meanwhile, New Age spiritualism regularly privileges pure sentience, or subjectivity, in abstraction from sensible matter, and often maintains that material reality is itself an illusory effect caused by an immaterial mind or spirit. Although commonly seen as opposed worldviews, both of these positions assume a qualitative difference between the sentient and the sensed; by prioritizing one or the other, both of these views perpetuate the distinction between human “subjects” and natural “objects” and hence neither threatens the common conception of sensible nature as a purely passive dimension suitable for human manipulation and use. While both of these views are unstable, each bolsters the other; by bouncing from one to the other—from scientific determinism to spiritual idealism and back again—contemporary discourse easily avoids the possibility that both the perceiving being and the perceived are of the same stuff, that the perceiver and the perceived are interdependent and in some sense even reversible aspects of a common animate element, or Flesh, that is at once both sensible and sensitive. ” (The Spell of the Sensuous, by David Abram, pages 66-67)

  • John Cook

    I thought you should have explored how the one environmental problem that they allow is this vague thing called global warming or climate change caused by co2. Which is tragic because it subverts the available human energy from attacking Real, solvable problems like de-forestation especially the amazon. (which would be my addition to your list). It’s simply not possible to reverse co2 emissions back to a natural amount without “free energy”, certainly not in the short time we supposedly have left. We should be frantically working on cold fusion energy systems (which are REAL). But instead they viciously attacked the scientists who demonstrated it more than twenty years ago. One of the most shameful acts of the scientific establishment I’ve ever heard of.
    Things are so desperate for the planet that I would cheer on a modern day pirate who simply sank those huge trawlers that loot the international waters. Or maybe someone who shoots Ramset nails into the upper trunk of forest trees in danger of being logged. Such trees would be impossible to chip or even cut into timber because the nail will destroy the blades.

  • Isn’t the #1 environmental problem facing the world today overpopulation? Every 12 years another billion! Why does no one address that?

    • Jeanie, it’s been added to the list. I’m curious, though. What do you consider to be the cause of overpopulation, and what do you think is most appropriate solution?



      • The reasons of course vary from one nation or one culture to another. In many societies, cultural child-bearing traditions, which encourage large families prevail and or birth control may be unavailable or unacceptable. In our own country, the birth rate is up, the death rate has declined. In addition, as a society we believe that in order to maintain economic prosperity, growth must continue to the exclusion of environmental sustainability. In spite of the obvious individual responsibility for birth control and family planning, I believe the appropriate solution is education/enlightenment for all levels of society including the government.

        • you

          In reply to that response Dylan, you know now i’m not one to hold back, the cause is ego? 10 kids to 10 different women and your the Man! or to one woman, your Legacy, your Pension, bringing in tomorrows Slaves, because that is what they will become is interesting?
          Governments put out the Propaganda we need to restock because of a declining baby boom? in contradiction to an increasing older generation!
          Iff 50% turn out good? who wins? and iff 50% turn out bad, They still win.
          How is your ego doing?

  • dimitri

    The TED talks platform seems like so much “controlled opposition.” Their folksy approach is endearing but not for a moment does it stop multi-national corporations from trampling over every habitable segment of the planet. My suspicion and major hope is that a collapse of world currencies will wake people the hell up. The ones in deep consumer coma will never recover. It’s going to be ugly. But the planet might then have a fighting chance to regenerate.

    And what the hell are people going to do with the hundreds of thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods that nobody wants to deal with sensibly?

    The prospects are daunting indeed!

  • Otto


    • Anonymous

      Overpopulation was debunked in the 70’s

  • The lying writer of this article is also part of the problem. The chemtrails sprayed every day globally are hiding Planet X. that is what the “global warming” and “geoengineering” bullshit is all about. Anybody that tells you anything different is a lying piece-of-shit treasonous bastard!

    • you

      That’s a bit strong just because he missed chem-trails off the list.

      Lying by omission is one of the most effective ways of hiding the truth.
      I’ll be using that one from now on.
      Tx, and that is not in reference to leaving chem-trails out.

  • abinico warez

    The ubiquitous presense nowadays of electro-magnetic field (EMF) radiation.

  • Rick Zammuto

    Very nice summary of the unfortunate reality of our recent society woes.

    Plain and simple, humans are committing mass suicide by ignoring the above. There are NO arguments, science-based or otherwise that can refute this unfortunate scientific fact.

    Scramble competition to die richest is the last goal of humankind–it is that simple. Anybody who thinks this is not true is totally lost!

  • Defiant

    That list of environmental problems has been with us since we’ve had the technology that (sometimes) results in these accidents. No reason to stop the march of progress, since the Earth always recovers. I mean, it hasn’t crumbled to dust yet. Mother Earth is resilient. Plus, look at the whole global warming shenanigans! The emails from East Anglia PROVED that the eggheads just skewed the “proof.” No, you’ll have to much better than “THE SKY IS FALLING” to prove to me that Man should be living like he were still in the stone age (doesn’t work for them so well in the Middle East).

    • you

      and you dare to call it Progress! shameful way to think.

    • dimitri

      What planet do you live on? If you’ve never been, treat yourself to a flight landing in Newark, NJ. Rent a car there and drive around aimlessly in a fifty mile radius of Newark. Remember to keep your eyes open and your critical discernment radar on. For your return trip work on a plan to make what you have just seen more livable. If you think that everything you just saw is just fine, then maybe you need to move there, since surely it must be heaven on earth.

    • Chris

      You’re referring to Climategate, which was blown very widely out of proportion by notorious climate-skeptic James Delingpole at the Telegraph (Google him). Numerous inquiries revealed that the emails were taken disingenuously out of context, and the academics involved were cleared of any wrong-doing.

      …and still, 4 years later, idiots like you think that this insignificant non-event has “proved” that climate change isn’t happening. You’ve been duped by hysteria, bias and media snake-oil. What are you even doing on this site? I thought you lot were all supposed to be “awakened”…

  • Paco

    You forgot Chemtrail/Geoengineering Programs on the list!

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